Summer is the season of picnics, barbecues, and outdoor gatherings, and what better way to celebrate than with a dish that combines the best of two worlds? Today, we're bringing you a mouthwatering creation that marries the beloved flavors of a classic Italian grinder sandwich toppings with the refreshing goodness of pasta salad. Prepare to be blown away by the Italian Grinder Pasta Salad – a delightful fusion of both lettuce and pasta salads that guarantees to be the star of any summer spread especially for people who live the TikTok Italian sandwich slaw.
At beyereatsanddrinks.com, we're all about exploring new and exciting recipes that satisfy every palate. The idea of blending the hearty, savory goodness of a grinder sandwich with the light and refreshing elements of a pasta salad came to us during a summer potluck. As we were enjoying the Italian Coleslaw recipe, we realized that the combination of crispy vegetables, tender pasta, and flavorful creamy Italian dressing could replicate the iconic grinder experience while offering a unique twist.
Italian Grinder Pasta Salad Ingredients
Use a clear shot of the ingredients for this recipe, prepped, and labeled if necessary. Add a paragraph of content describing why these ingredients were chosen. Insert the ingredients into the list below, omitting quantities.
- Pasta - Any shape pasta will work, but I prefer the bow-tie pasta.
- Shredded Lettuce - You can totally chop up a head of iceberg lettuce for shredded lettuce, but buying the bag of shredded lettuce is so easy.
- Tomatoes - Cherry or grape tomatoes are perfect because they are easy to cut in half, but if the garden is brimming with tomatoes, chopped up tomatoes work too.
- Banana Pepper Rings - The jarred banana pepper rings bring so much flavor. I make my own jarred banana pepper rings in the summer but also love the store bought ones too.
- Red Onion
- Italian Dressing - Use your favorite Italian dressing. If you don't have a favorite, definitely go for the Olive Garden Italian dresing.
Optional or Additional Stir-Ins can include -
- Salami or Pepperoni
- Black Olives
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Fresh Basil
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions - How to Make Italian Pasta Salad with Shredded Lettuce
This is a quick and easy BBQ side dish that you can make ahead of time or just in time. Here is how you make this Italian pasta salad.
Boil the pasta for a minute or two less than the package directions. Pour the pasta out into a colander and rinse under cold water. Then transfer to a large serving dish.
Chop up the tomatoes, onions, banana peppers, and other veggies or meat. Add to the pasta along with the shredded lettuce.
Pour the Italian dressing over the pasta and veggies. Then toss the dressing on the pasta salad.
Finally, add mayo into the bowl. Stir to combine the entire salad. Give the Italian pasta salad a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
As you plan your summer gatherings, remember to surprise and delight your guests with the unexpected combination of the Grinder Pasta Salad. At Beyer Eats and Drinks, we believe in exploring new horizons in the culinary world, and this fusion of Italian flavors is a testament to that spirit. So, fire up your creativity, get your ingredients ready, and embark on a culinary adventure that will redefine pasta salad as you know it. Your friends and family will thank you for bringing this scrumptious and innovative dish to the table. Happy cooking!
Hint: leave the pasta a little undercooked. Cook for a minute or two less than the package directions if you don't want your pasta salad to be mushy.
Customize your Italian Pasta Salad
As with any recipe, don't be afraid to add your personal touch.
- More Veggies - Consider adding other Italian-inspired ingredients, such as diced bell peppers, artichoke hearts, or even some spicy banana peppers if you enjoy a bit of heat.
- Roasted Italian Pasta Salad - load up on roasted vegetables like zucchini and red peppers as well as some roasted garlic.
- Red Wine Vinegar and Oil Dressing - omit the store bought dressing and use olive oil and red wine vinegar with Italian seasoning or fresh herbs like basil and oregano to make your own dressing to toss the pasta salad in.
See this Italian coleslaw recipe on my website!
Pasta Salad Essentials
Get everything you need from my amazon store to make this easy Italian Grinder Pasta Salad Recipe.
How long will homemade pasta salad last in the fridge?
Storing pasta salad can be tricky. If you keep it too long it will get too watery or mushy or too dry. This is a little dependent on how you cooked the pasta. You can make your pasta salad ahead of time, but I would not recommend making this pasta salad more than the night before, and do not add the shredded lettuce until you are ready to serve it.
Keep the leftover salad up to three days in the fridge. It will be very watery and the lettuce brown by day three.
Don't add the shredded iceberg lettuce too far ahead of when you are serving the salad. The lettuce is full of water and will add more liquid to the salad. You don't want the grinder pasta salad TikTok style to be watery!
When you cook your pasta until it is completely soft and then add more liquid to the salad in the form of salad dressing or oil and vinegar, it continues to soften the pasta until it is mushy. Also remember fresh vegetables bring water to the salad too.
If your pasta salad is dried out, your pasta has absorbed all the liquid. Add more dressing to the salad and stir to combine.
Related Salad Recipes
Looking for other salad recipes like this? Try these:
Pairing BBQ Side Dishes
These are my favorite summer grilling recipes:
Grinder Pasta Salad
- 1 pound Bowtie or Rotini Pasta
- 1 bag shredded lettuce 10 ounce bag
- 1 whole red onion diced
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup mild banana pepper rings
- 1 cup Italian Dressing Salad Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Cook pasta according to package directions minus one to two minutes and then chill with cold water as soon as it is cooked. While the pasta cooks, cut up the vegetables.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.
- Top with shredded lettuce and cherry tomatoes, onions, and banana peppers. Toss to combine.
- Pour Italian dressing over top and toss salad to coat the salad in the dressing. Stir in the mayonnaise.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.